1:16 PM

Army Commander’s term heading for extension

All indications are Army Commander Lt. Gen. Sarath Fonseka will be given a further extension of one year on reaching the age of 58 in December, in order to complete the job of bringing the LTTE to its knees, militarily.

Sources said that with the Army performing well on all fronts, there was no necessity to even consider changing its Commander, especially with the incumbent being held in high esteem by his fighting men.

This week saw some key positions in the Army changing hands. Master General Ordinance, Maj. Gen. Asoka Thoradeniya was moved to Army Headquarters with his retirement due on December 8. Eastern Commander Maj. Gen. Dhammika Liyanage succeeded as Master General Ordinance. Maj. Gen. Srinath Rajapaksa, the Commander of 51 Division assumed duties as Commander East. Commander of 21 Division Brig. Priyantha Jayasundera took over the command of 51 Division. Second in Command of 57 Division Brig. Senaka Wickramaratne assumed command of 21 Division. Col. Aruna Wanniarachchi who headed the 52-2 Brigade rose as Deputy Commander of 57 Division. These changes were effected by Military Secretary Maj. Gen. Deepal Alwis.

Army Headquarters Sources said soon 33 Colonels will be elevated to the rank of Brigadier. In addition, the Army Commander has ordered raising the cadre of generals in the force by four.

At least five senior major generals are scheduled to retire next year on reaching the age of 55, unless they are given extensions by the President.